The Digital Bystander

Thanks so much Herman for sharing this. This is actually something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I recently had a conversation with friends about bullying and how I’m convinced that it’s actually 10x worse now because of the digital age than it was when I was a kid growing up. There is so much fascination that surrounds controversy. You want to be a part of it and if you’re not there, you hope someone got a video of it so that you can view it later. What the digital bystander reminds me of is that television series that used to air on ABC about really terrible moments happening in “real life” situations and a hidden camera seeing if anyone is willing to stand up and say something. ie) the one example I can think of is a parent berating his child in a very public restaurant and then you can see which people there are willing to step in and who sits idly by. In the digital world, everyone is idle.

I’m a user of Instagram Stories and I’ve used Instagram Live, but I would lying to you if I said that things like Instagram Live and Facebook Live didn’t scare me because of the nature of potentially dangerous content as you can see from this video. I like Facebook as a product and I sincerely hope that they can combat this, but we may have to lower our expectations in people.

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